How to solve - Limited performance due to missing value error [GTIN] in Google Merchant Center error?
When submitting product identifiers, the following should be applied.
If a manufacturer has assigned a bar code, then submit brand, MPN (if available), GTIN, and set identifier exists to yes.
If the manufacturer has not assigned a bar code, then remove the values brand, MPN, GTIN, and set identifier exists to no.
While the official documentation does mention, you can submit brand + MPN and ignore GTIN. However, in most cases, this will cause issues and generate warnings such as limited performance due to missing identifiers.
And as of June 2021, specific categories and or countries require barcodes to be submitted, regardless if you have any. So, in this case, you need to get official GS1 barcodes.
A secondary reason for issues is that most merchants tend to use SKU as the MPN values, which is incorrect.
SKU stands for “stock keeping unit” and — as the name suggests — it is a number (usually eight alphanumeric digits) that retailers assign to products to keep track of stock levels internally.
An MPN, or manufacturer part number, is a manufacturer-assigned, unique, alphanumeric value used to identify a product among other products from the same manufacturer.
Hi @EmmanuelFlossie ,
Thank you for this detailed reply.
GMC recently started flagging thousands of my products with the same issue message "Limited performance due to missing value [gtin]".
I have not changed anything to my Product Feed and used to have these issues for products that did not have a value in the Barcode field of my Shopify product page.
After double checking some example products flagged as "Limited performance due to missing value [gtin]", it seems like the GTIN value is not passed on to GMC via the Content API. I do have a legit GTIN provided by the manufacturer in the Barcode field on my Shopify product page, but the GTIN value is nowhere to be found in my GMC Product Feed, and the "identifier exists" is showing "true", hence why the products are being flagged.
I'm very confused here as I have not changed anything to my Google channel, GMC account or Product Feed.
Here is an example:
As you can see, all info is properly filled in Shopify, but for some reason it doesn't not get passed on via the Content API and the GTIN value ends up being missing.
I'm at a loss right now... I guess I could copy the Shopify Barcode value and paste it into a Google Custom Label field, and then via GMC Feed Rule make sure the Custom Label is sent to the GTIN value, but it seems like a lot of work for something that was originally working...
Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂
There is a known bug in Shopify that prevents barcodes from being submitted when it was originally working fine. This is an issue with the free app you are using.
Go to Shopify > Sales Channel > Google > Manage Availability > set custom products to false.
You could use a different app if that fails.
You could add the barcode data using a supplement feed: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/7439058?hl=en
@EmmanuelFlossie , thank you so much!
This was driving me crazy, especially when Google and Shopify said everything looked fine on their end.
Anyway, thank you!
Amazingly bad bug. Anyone who can't solve missing GTIN's on GMC, Thank Emmanuel profusely as he is a genuis.
So now every time i add a product, i have to manually scroll through thousands of sku's in the bulk editor to change one little setting to false.
You can't sort or search the google product bulk listing page, its stuffed.
Absolutely a fail.
Get it fixed.
Pleasure, honestly every business has bugs, it's just the realities of apps, plugins and businesses. My advice is to simply not use the free app. While Shopify is great, it is just not very focused on creating an app that is feature-rich or a dedicated team that works on the app (not that I am aware of).
Compared to a 3rd party paid app, it is their main business, so support is generally better, and issues get fixed, within a reasonable amount of time. If they don't improve their business, they are out of work 🙂 So you got to have great customer support. Ofcourse I can't speak for every business, but the apps that I use for my clients, have good support.
Thank you for the above advice
Which google feed apps would you recommend to help avoid the GTIN no recognised issue?
For my clients I use https://apps.shopify.com/multiple-google-shopping-feeds
Has this problem been solved yet or reported to shopify? Customer support didn't know about it when I contacted them. I am having the same issue.
You need to first check if the data you submit is correct. Do your products have barcodes assigned by the manufacturer?
And in Google Merchant Center if you go to Products > All Products > click on a product > and scroll to the bottom, can you see in the final attributes your barcodes?
If no and they are in Shopify, then follow this guide:
Go to Shopify > Sales Channels > Google > Manage Availability
All products with barcodes need to be marked as false under custom product.
For Shopify bulk edits, I believe you need to use a 3rd party app. I don't remember which one, but you can contact the support team of the app you want to use. Here is a list: https://apps.shopify.com/search?q=bulk%20editor
Please note that POD (print on demand) is generally not accepted by Google. Reference: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6150127#:~:text=Unavailable%20promotions
However if you don't have barcodes, then do not submit brand, mpn, gtin and set identifier exists to no.
Here is a video demonstrating how to set it up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyvilyMb2Bo
Thank you for your contribution over the years especially when it comes to data feed. You are definitely the go-to person and have heard great reviews about your app.
I have a question for you - if we are the manufacturer and only seller of our product, does adding GTIN increase performance/visibility with Google Shopping? I understand it can hinder performance if multiple sellers are selling the same product eg. a Nike shoe.
I'm just wondering how much difference would it make in relation to Google ads, will it increase abs.top, impression share, reduce cpc etc?
I know you work with many clients and was wondering if you've seen the results of adding GTIN.
Thank you in advance Emmanuel!
@PeterV thank you for your kind words, however I don't have an app as of writing.
It does improve the performance, however if you are the manufacturer you can simply remedy the low performance by adding the Brand + MPN
The MPN can be added by yourself, it may even match the SKU value in your case.
How much of a performance difference is hard to tell, I have never measured the difference. Or I have actually never noticed a big difference. There are other attributes that have a bigger impact.
Generally the major difference can be when the product is disapproved due to missing GTIN. Then in this case the difference is 100% considering it is then approved for listing.
But if the product is limited, then no longer limited, I have not found enough evidence that signify a big jump.
However, in my opinion, always improve everything, every little percent contributes towards the overall performance.
hi i sell sneakers such as jordan yeezy etc but my google merchant account gets suspended due to gtin issues how can i sort this out pls
We had this problem too - the bug fix suggested within this thread (of changing every product with a barcode / GTIN to custom product = "no" in the bulk editor) does indeed work in theory but if you use the bulk editor on Shopify you have to go through 100s/1000s of products to change the custom product to "no" every time you add a new product to your store - really not workable at all!
So I was wondering:
1) has anyone heard if Shopify intend to fix this bug - it worked fine before
2) did anyone find a free bulk editor app that could set all products to "custom product = no" in a matter of seconds?
Hey @neil_richards ,
Unfortunately I could not find a workaround, except the solution provided in this thread.
It took me a good hour to set all my 2500+ SKUs custom product field to "No" with the bulk edit.
1) Last time I talked to the Plus support team they didn't even know about this glitch and were not helpful at all. I personally don't think they'll bother spending the time trying to fix it.
2) There might be apps out there but I just didn't want to spend the time setting one up and paying for something that I would only use once. I've heard lots of good things about DataFeedWatch but it's a bit expensive and takes time to setup.
So I've added this to my SOP for when a team member is creating a new product... He/she is switching the field to No for every new product we add.
Apologies, I mentioned Bulk Edit, but I'm actually using Metafields Guru. The free plan comes with 1,000 free credits so you could bulk edit up to 1,000 products. After that it's an extra $1 per 1,000 credits.
The paid plan gives you more flexibility if you want to do some bulk edits for larger SKU counts, so I guess you could use it to update all your products at once.
The free plan allows you to edit single products right from the product page.
We basically add a new product and once created access the "MORE ACTIONS" dropdown at the top right of the product page, and pick "EDIT METAFIELDS"
It will then open all existing metafields, and we just either add this one if it's not already listed, or just make sure to switch it to "false".
I hope this helps.
Wow I am now too experiencing this problem after a year of everything being fine. There has to be a better solution than paying for additional apps or long work arounds. Come on Shopify I pay you to help me sell stuff online and I am hindered in being able to do this because part of the thing I pay you for (an important part) isn't working !!!
I have left you a replied on your first reply with your details. Based on this I have given you the correct answer: https://community.shopify.com/c/ecommerce-marketing/google-merchant-limited-performance-due-to-missi...
Hi thank you for your replies. So can I confirm we are using correct GTIN codes on most our products, they are in SKU and Barcode fields within Shopify. Everything has been working fine for a year, just recently boom 47.3% of my products are being suppressed by Google (they have confirmed this). Shopify have confirmed there is an issue too, firstly saying don't worry about it, but obviously this is an issue. Waiting to hear back from Google Content API because this is a syncing issue. It's not looking like there will be a resolution any time soon, guess the only option would be a App.
Beana - my understanding is that its not something that Google can solve. Unless you mark custom product = no as suggested in the thread then the Google Barcode field entry doesnt get included in the Shopify feed (as the GTIN that Google require). If its not in the Shopify feed then Google dont have the data and cant do anything. Its for Shopify to fix this.
Hi Neil, yes thank you, I can see when changing the custom product to NO this is working. I am worried though because isn't the Shopify Product Organization there for a reason and relates to the Google Taxonomy sheet and codes? By removing all mapping how will this impact on Google? I just need an answer to this before bulk editing all my products (4k and more). Plus there might be a better fix in the future, surely? And then I will have to manually go through all my products again and re-map - that would be a pain.
Prior to this bug, Shopify defaulted all values for custom products, since a month and a half the default value is empty. Hence why you now need to manually update this.
Either do it in bulk using a bulk editor app, or do it manually.
This is the only way to resolve the missing barcodes, when they are already added in Shopify.
Hi again, thank you for your time on this. Just to clarify when you say manually update default value you agree that for the moment I need to set all custom types to a NO?
Thank you : ))
Yes - Full guide here: https://feedarmy.com/kb/fixed-shopify-barcodes-gtin-not-showing-in-google-merchant-center/
There is no effect on Taxonomy
Previously when you entered a barcode for a product in shopify then it automatically set the custom product indicator to "no" and the barcode would feed through as a "GTIN" in the Google Feed. Now filling in a barcode leaves the custom product unset and you have to set that to "no" yourself using the guide above.
I farrrrrr prefered the old way
If you correctly apply the rules, in half an hour you can view the updates in Google Merchant Center.
Do you recommend a bulk editor that I can use? I have over 25,000 items to go thru. Also I was told to take the automatic updates off of Google Merchant Center, is that correct?
Using feed rules would be the quickest option.
Disabling automatic updates may introduce a different set of issues.
If you are struggling to setup your data, consider using a different data feed app such as: https://apps.shopify.com/multiple-google-shopping-feeds
Which allows you to also setup rules to display accurate details.
@M0w45- that ws really useful thanks !!!- actually you can make that easier again by defining that metafield so that you dont have to go into Metafields Guru
Once youve defined that metafield then you can just type "false" on the main product page ...
Thanks for the info mate, much appreciated.
Just another example of Shopify's poor user experience... I come across something like this every freaking day. Rather than focus on marketing I spend hours fixing issues like this!
Sometimes i feel that I should have stayed on big commerce!
Hi, Neil, I have replicated what you suggest, but when I export the product the csv does not contain false. I wonder if, or somebody else, can help me, as It really looks a good solution.
Depending on the situation false also can be an empty field, when importing and exporting. It depends on how data is read by whatever you are using to read the data. It's also possible that Shopify exports empty values when it's false.
However the method you want to remedy this issue, no longer works. But if you want to try, simply add FALSE as the value and upload to Shopify and see the results.
Excuse me. I am a bit lost. I read somewhere else I could change the status to false using The "Google Shopping / Custom Product field" in the standard CSV. Do you think it won't work?
Thanks for the feedback.
So when your team member creates a new product ...will they use the bulk editor each time and scroll through the 2500+ SKU or is there a way to set customer product = no on the individual product page? I can't see how to do that
You must have UPC entered in the barcode field. Unfortunately this issue still exists for majority of the stores.
I have a number of clients and all are having the same issue except 1.
Finally this app is available in the market: https://apps.shopify.com/gtin-fix
This app has no products limit unlike others. You can run it for all of your products to fix Limited performance due to GTIN issue on google if you already have UPC populated.
To ensure users on this thread get the correct info, ensure that a user follows the followin policy, what @smithiscool said is not 100% correct.
1) If a manufacturer has assigned a barcode then you are required to add this info in the GTIN field. Alongside the brand value with identifier exists to yes.
2) If the manufacturer has not assigned a barcode, then remove the values brand, mpn and gtin and set identifier exists to no.
Here is a guide how to apply the rules using feed rules: https://support.google.com/google-ads/community-video/216954171
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